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TightVent Europe is a platform, formed in 2011, with a focus on building and ductwork airtightness issues.The creation of the platform was triggered by the need for a strong and concerted initiative to meet the Directive on the energy performance of buildings ambitious targets for the year 2020 and overcome the challenges in relation to the envelope and ductwork leakage towards the generalization of nearly zero-energy buildings. The platform’s main activities, among others, include the production and dissemination of policy oriented publications, networking among local or national airtightness associations, as well as the organization of conferences, workshops and webinars.
TightVent Europe was launched and initiated in January 2011 by INIVE EEIG (International Network for Information on Ventilation and Energy Performance), a registered European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) whose members include building research centres in Europe.Since then, the platform has received the financial and/or technical support from its partners: Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BlowerDoor GmbH, ACIN instrumenten, Lindab, MEZ-TECHNIK, Retrotec, Eurima, Soudal, Industrias Gonal and SIGA.
The target audience of the TightVent Europe activities ranges from the research community over designers, practitioners, supply industry to European, national and regional government policy makers.It includes policy makers, training centres, designers, engineers and builders, air leakage testers, local and national airtightness associations, research and technical centres.
In September 2012, TightVent Europe launched the TightVent Airtightness Associations Committee (TightVent TAAC committee) with the primary goal to promote reliable testing and reporting procedures.At present, the participants are from Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and the USA. The scope of this committee includes various aspects such as:
Since 2011, TightVent Europe has published 6 reportsin the fields of building and ductwork airtightness. The first publication on the challenges for building and ductwork airtightness was released in 2011 entitled as: “Critical steps for a wide scale implementation of building and ductwork airtightness”. It included an introductory paper browsing the issues of concern and collect a series of technical documents, namely those produced within the ASIEPI project as well as within the SAVE-DUCT and AIRWAYS projects. Another publication: “Methods and techniques for airtight buildings” was released in 2012, with an overview to the design principles and construction methods for building airtightness. Moreover, the publication: "Building air leakage databases in energy conservation policies: Analysis of selected initiatives in 4 European countries and the USA" was also released in 2012 with information on existing envelope air leakage databases from five countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, UK and USA. Furthermore,another report was produced in close collaboration with the AIVC, "Building airtightness: a critical review of testing reporting and quality schemes in 10 countries", in 2012; a review of testing and reporting about building airtightness and quality management issues for achieving a good airtightness in 10 countries .In 2013, TightVent Europe published "Building and ductwork airtightness: Selected papers from the REHVA special journal issue on ‘airtightness’" composed of relevant contributions from the special issue on airtightness of the REHVA journal.
TightVent Europe publishes a biannual newsletter with up to date information on developments in respect to building and ductwork airtightness, including policy issues, publications, events, innovative technologies, case studies and research activities.
Since 2011, TightVent Europe holds a joint annual conference together with the Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre in September/October in one of the AIVC participating countries, with a track devoted to building and ductwork airtightness.
Workshops & Webinars
Besides the publications and conferences TightVent Europe key activities include the organization of workshops and webinars.Some of the webinars are targeted at a specific region, some at the specific topic (e.g., sharing national experience on air leakage databases), some at training and some at industry.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. Its goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. HVAC system design is a subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. "Refrigeration" is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation, as HVAC&R or HVACR or "ventilation" is dropped, as in HACR.
A furnace, referred to as a heater or boiler in British English, is a heating unit used to heat up an entire building. Furnaces are mostly used as a major component of a central heating system. The name derives from Latin word fornax, which means oven. Furnaces are permanently installed to provide heat to an interior space through intermediary fluid movement, which may be air, steam, or hot water. Heating appliances that use steam or hot water as the fluid are normally referred to as a residential steam boiler or residential hot water boiler. The most common fuel source for modern furnaces in North America and much of Europe is natural gas; other common fuel sources include LPG, fuel oil, wood and in rare cases coal. In some areas electrical resistance heating is used, especially where the cost of electricity is low or the primary purpose is for air conditioning. Modern high-efficiency furnaces can be up to 98% efficient and operate without a chimney, with a typical gas furnace being about 80% efficient. Waste gas and heat are mechanically ventilated through PVC pipes that can be vented through the side or roof of the house. Fuel efficiency in a gas furnace is measured in AFUE. Furnaces primarily run on natural gas or electricity. Furnaces that are used to boil water are called boilers.
Ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into a space. Ventilation is mainly used to control indoor air quality by diluting and displacing indoor pollutants; it can also be used to control indoor temperature, humidity, and air motion to benefit thermal comfort, satisfaction with other aspects of indoor environment, or other objectives.
A blower door is a machine used to measure the airtightness of buildings. It can also be used to measure airflow between building zones, to test ductwork airtightness and to help physically locate air leakage sites in the building envelope.
A revolving door typically consists of three or four doors that hang on a central shaft and rotate around a vertical axis within a cylindrical enclosure. Revolving doors are energy efficient as they prevent drafts, thus decreasing the loss of heating or cooling for the building. Revolving doors were designed to relieve stack effect pressure in buildings. High-rise buildings experience immense pressure caused by air rushing through the building, referred to as 'Stack Effect' pressure. At the same time, revolving doors allow large numbers of people to pass in and out.
A hermetic seal is any type of sealing that makes a given object airtight. The term originally applied to airtight glass containers, but as technology advanced it applied to a larger category of materials, including rubber and plastics. Hermetic seals are essential to the correct and safe functionality of many electronic and healthcare products. Used technically, it is stated in conjunction with a specific test method and conditions of use.
A vapor barrier is any material used for damp proofing, typically a plastic or foil sheet, that resists diffusion of moisture through the wall, floor, ceiling, or roof assemblies of buildings to prevent interstitial condensation and of packaging. Technically, many of these materials are only vapor retarders as they have varying degrees of permeability.
A carbon dioxide sensor or CO2 sensor is an instrument for the measurement of carbon dioxide gas. The most common principles for CO2 sensors are infrared gas sensors (NDIR) and chemical gas sensors. Measuring carbon dioxide is important in monitoring indoor air quality, the function of the lungs in the form of a capnograph device, and many industrial processes.
Ducts are conduits or passages used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. The needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air. Ducts commonly also deliver ventilation air as part of the supply air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.
Passive ventilation is the process of supplying air to and removing air from an indoor space without using mechanical systems. It refers to the flow of external air to an indoor space as a result of pressure differences arising from natural forces. There are two types of natural ventilation occurring in buildings: wind driven ventilation and buoyancy-driven ventilation. Wind driven ventilation arises from the different pressures created by wind around a building or structure, and openings being formed on the perimeter which then permit flow through the building. Buoyancy-driven ventilation occurs as a result of the directional buoyancy force that results from temperature differences between the interior and exterior. Since the internal heat gains which create temperature differences between the interior and exterior are created by natural processes, including the heat from people, and wind effects are variable, naturally ventilated buildings are sometimes called "breathing buildings".
A crawl space is an unoccupied, unfinished, narrow space within a building, between the ground and the first floor. The crawl space is so named because there is typically only enough room to crawl rather than stand; anything larger than about 1 to 1.5 metres would tend to be considered a basement.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is the European Union's main legislative instrument aiming to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings within the Community. It was inspired by the Kyoto Protocol which commits the EU and all its parties by setting binding emission reduction targets.
A duct leakage tester is a diagnostic tool designed to measure the airtightness of forced air heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. A duct leakage tester consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and fan flow measurements are used to determine the ductwork airtightness. The airtightness of ductwork is useful knowledge when trying to improve energy conservation.
Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC) is the International Energy Agency information centre on energy efficient ventilation of buildings.
Building airtightness can be defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through unintentional leakage points or areas in the building envelope. This air leakage is driven by differential pressures across the building envelope due to the combined effects of stack, external wind and mechanical ventilation systems.
Venticool is an international platform formed in 2012 focusing on ventilative cooling issues, with the overall goal to "boost awareness, communication, networking and steering research and development efforts in the field" . In 2020, venticool’s focus was broadened towards resilient ventilative cooling.
Ductwork airtightness can be defined as the resistance to inward or outward air leakage through the ductwork envelope. This air leakage is driven by differential pressures across the ductwork envelope due to the combined effects of stack and fan operation.
The Indoor Environmental Quality Global Alliance (IEQ-GA) was initiated in 2014 aiming to improve the actual, delivered indoor environmental quality in buildings through coordination, education, outreach and advocacy. The alliance works to supply information, guidelines and knowledge on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in buildings and workplaces, and to provide occupants in buildings and workplaces with an acceptable indoor environmental quality and help promote implementation in practice of knowledge from research on the field.
The International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme, formerly known as the Energy in Buildings and Community Systems Programme (ECBCS), is one of the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). The Programme "carries out research and development activities toward near-zero energy and carbon emissions in the built environment".
Ventilative cooling is the use of natural or mechanical ventilation to cool indoor spaces. The use of outside air reduces the cooling load and the energy consumption of these systems, while maintaining high quality indoor conditions; passive ventilative cooling may eliminate energy consumption. Ventilative cooling strategies are applied in a wide range of buildings and may even be critical to realize renovated or new high efficient buildings and zero-energy buildings (ZEBs). Ventilation is present in buildings mainly for air quality reasons. It can be used additionally to remove both excess heat gains, as well as increase the velocity of the air and thereby widen the thermal comfort range. Ventilative cooling is assessed by long-term evaluation indices. Ventilative cooling is dependent on the availability of appropriate external conditions and on the thermal physical characteristics of the building.